Friday, June 11, 2010

Tucker's Travels

All the while I was dealing with Ceilidh and her cancer, my older Sheltie Tucker was also having some medical issues. At his annual checkup, my regular vet recommended that he should have his teeth cleaned and two teeth pulled. Since we had just completed Ceilidh's surgery and were starting chemotherapy, I opted to wait awhile to have the work done. In late April, I took Tucker in for the pre-op blood work necessary because of his age to go forward with the dental work. The results showed that his liver enzymes were elevated and his cholesterol very high. We then began a series of blood tests to find out if he had either Cushing's Disease or Hypothyroidism. The test for Cushing's came back slightly abover the normal range but it wasn't high enough to be significant. The thryoid panel came back normal. So now he is on a low fat diet to see if we can get his cholesterol down. We will have the triglyceride tests done again at the end of the month to see if the diet has been effective. If it hasn't, we'll have to look at an ultra low-fat diet or home-cooked diet. The very high cholesterol is very likely the reason he is so lethargic. So for now, it is a low fat diet, no people food (except for two bites of my toast at breakfast) and only sweet potato and duck or carrots for treats. I certainly hope the diet works for him as I have read that medications designed to reduce cholesterol in people are only used as a last resort for dogs since one of the side effects is liver toxicity.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ceilidh's Journey - The Last Post

Kelbren Ceilidh Everlasting - 21 Jan 2003 to 26 May 2010
On 26 May 2010, I let my little princess go to Rainbow Bridge. We had our surgical consult on 14 May but as Ceilidh had not been eating well, Dr Liptak wanted to wait until she was eating better before putting her through the additional stress of surgery. Things didn't get better, Ceilidh hardly ate anything and on the Friday evening before the Victoria Day long weekend, she was barely drinking and having dry heaves. I contacted Dr Bravo's Vet tech, Donna Dempsie, who thought that I should bring Ceilidh into see the emergency vet at Alta Vista as she was likely getting dehydrated. Ceilidh stayed at Alta Vista until Sunday afternoon on fluid therapy and getting all of her medications by injection. I picked her up expecting her to have a little more energy but she was still very listless, although she was no longer retching. Monday, all I could get her to eat was MacDonald's French fries and a little chicken. I asked my sister to make arrangements to come with me on Wed to let her go. On Tues morning, Ceilidh was more alert and had breakfast with us, peanut butter and jam on toast. I debated whether or not I should call Alta Vista to make the appointment to let her go. I called later that morning and Donna told me that if for any reason I wanted to cancel not to hesitate. Tuesday evening, Tucker and Ceilidh laid by the fireplace together. I had never seen them that close; I think Tucker knew what was about to happen. Wed morning, Ceilidh again ate peanut butter and jam on toast but she laid by the fireplace and I had to bring it over to her. My sister arrived about 9:30 am, Ceilidh tried to get up and couldn't, when I helped her up, she couldn't stand. Her eyes were so tired and filled with dismay. At Alta Vista, they made the process very gentle. Ceilidh rested on my lap on a comfortable sofa and when we were ready, Dr Bravo gave her the injection to release her from the fight against this terrible disease. I received the call from Alta Vista today that her urn is back so later this week, probably Friday evening, Ceilidh will be home with me once again.